Wednesday, 18th July 2012
As part of World Suicide Prevention Day, Waterford will play host to the first Donal O'Connor Memorial Cycle on 8th Sept. This family-friendly event will be launched at City Square on 21st July. The launch will include face painting, information on the event and a visit by the cycle's ambassador Philip Lavery, as well as the Mayor of Waterford City Jim D'arcy, at 1.30 pm to officially launch the cycle.
Waterford is unique in that it is the only city in Ireland to have its own integrated action plan for suicide prevention. In 2008 Waterford City Development Board officially launched this Suicide Prevention Action Plan for Waterford City called "Reflecting the Challenge”.
A Working Group was subsequently set up to oversee the implementation of this Action Plan, which includes representatives of key agencies who encounter suicide or self-harm events and/or play a significant role in a preventative strategy in Waterford City.
As part of the Action plan a core day of importance is World Suicide Prevention day which is held annually on September 10th. The purpose of this day is to raise awareness around the globe that suicide can be prevented. The WHO estimates that about one million people around the world die by suicide every year. The Waterford event will be one of many events being held worldwide to publicise World Suicide Prevention Day which is held every year on Sept 10th.
As part of this year's activities a cycle race, the Donal O'Connor Memorial Cycle, is being organised on September 8th from Kingfisher sports complex to Tramore GAA grounds. The cycle is being organized by a voluntary committee including Donal, who died by suicide in 2011, wife. This family-friendly cycle is open to people of all ages and abilities. The cycle will be a positive memorial to all those lost to suicide and will act as a symbol of hope that suicide can be prevented. All funds raised on the day will go to Waterford Marine Search and Rescue to buy life jackets. Waterford Marine Search and Rescue is a voluntary group who patrol the waterways of Waterford city, saving lives and preventing suicides.
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